The ‘new’ Saudi Arabia is still a dungeon

22 Sep 2017   Saudi Arabia

ONCE AGAIN, news from Saudi Arabia points toward the old thinking and not the modern society promised by the new crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. Despite the lofty rhetoric of the crown prince’s “Vision 2030 ” declaration, he increasingly resembles an earlier generation of leaders with authoritarian methods. Saudi Arabia has been, and seems determined to remain, a dungeon for those who want to practice free speech. The latest evidence is a wide-ranging crackdown on influential clerics , activists , journalists and writers who have been jailed with hardly any public explanation . A Sept. 12 statement by the government’s new security agency , set up in July by King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, hinted darkly that the arrests were caused by “foreign parties” that were trying to hurt “the security of the kingdom and its interests, methodology, capabilities and social peace in order to stir up sedition and […]

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